Lithic draws on many parts of Earth's own history, and we wanted to reflect that further in the symbols and icons we use in game. This week we're looking a little bit at some of these symbols in detail, discussing their use in the game and where they originate. Let's get started!
The above symbols will be quite quickly recognised by some readers as the Empedoclean symbols for the elements which were later used in alchemical formulae across the western world. From left to right fire, air, water and earth are represented. We're using these in Lithic to denote the element your avatar is tied to. We will cover how elements will affect your tribe in next week's blog. Next we'll take a look at some symbols which draw on ancient carvings found in Great Britain.
Rock carving is one of the earliest known forms of artistic expression, so to not include it as an influence in a game which tries to represent early development would, in my opinion be sacrilege. Some of these carvings can be found mere miles from Flintlock Studios' office, near the market town of Barnard Castle on Barningham Moor. The carvings are primitive by today's standard, but feature hints of artistic genius in their patterns, it is believed that that they may have been used as part of some long forgotten ritual. As you can see, we've drawn heavily on the circles and lines represented in the reference material and used them to create representations of our spirit animals and the personality types they embody. As these are fairly complex images I'll give them each their own short section:
A: Represents aggression, the lines form a primitive spear or arrow which is a commonly used symbol of combat and hunting in Lithic.
B. Represents Passiveness, for this symbol we took the aggressive shape of the arrow and broke it down into it's component parts, creating a sort of anti-violence symbol.
C: Represents Selfishness, the circles here represent the character, with the solid vertical line representing the passage of “giving.”
D: Represents Selflessness, here we see a doubled up representation of C but note that here the vertical line intersects both characters – displaying the passage of “giving” between the two.
E: Represents Pride, here the dots represent many people, with the one standing apart from the rest representing a willingness to step out of the crowd.
F: Represents Demure, Similar in design to it's counterpart Pride, however here the dots are clustered together, representing a willingness to “Go with the crowd” or at the very least shy away from the spotlight.
So that's the spirit animals covered, the last thing we're taking a look at today is the symbols we use for the Races themselves. Here the symbolism get more cryptic!
A: The Hu-Aan. The outer circle enclosing the smaller dots represents the closeness of Hu society, whereas the inner circle represents the nightly gathering the Hu partake in.
B: Here we see what looks like a large pair of hands cradling a series of squares. This symbol is that of the Hob-Aan, with the large hands representing the alpha, and the smaller squares displaying his “teeth” - the rest of the tribe.
C: This is the Lit-Aan's racial symbol. The Large and small V represent the Alpha and her heir respectively, the smaller V being inside the large is symbolic of where the heir comes from and that she is a part and extension of the Alpha. The small diagonal strikes represent the rest of the tribe, note now they support the larger V but are beneath it – echoing Lit social structure.
D: The Ur-Aan are a race that focuses on family, and their symbol as shown here represents that. The three pointed star in the centre represents the family unit, with the 3 outer points representing other family units in the tribe, representing the importance of both immediate and extended familial connections.
E: The Ix-Aan. This is by far the most simple symbol here. It is that of intersecting raked claw marks, representing the raw terrifying power of the Ix, the only thing their disjointed race has left.
That's it for this week's Dev Blog if you want to talk in more detail to us about this blog, catch us on the Forum!
Great use symbols. They do a nice job of conveying meaning without even being explained. Your symbology really gives depth and a sense of realism to the world you are creating.
Thank you ever so much for your comment, that's exactly what we were aiming for!